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My top ten reasons for opposing the Solano 360

 

Development Plan

 

as it is currently proposed:



4/29/13

By Amanda Cundiff


 1.   The negotiated revenue split between the City and County makes this a really bad deal for the City of Vallejo.  For years 2016 through 2021, 97% of the major tax revenues from this project go to the County.   After that, 55% goes to the County until 2042.   At the very same time, Vallejo will have to supply the police, fire, and other city services.   Vallejo will have to pay out more than it gets back for many years. 


2.   The County's fiscal analysis does not consider "net gain."   It assumes all the revenue expected through the project will be NEW money spent by outsiders passing by on the freeway who would not have otherwise stopped and spent dollars in Vallejo.  When we adjust those numbers just down to 80%, from 100%, we see that it's an even worse deal for the city.    The wouldn't break even on its investment for 32 years.   

   

3.    The final Environmental Impact Report doesn't adequately address CALTRANS' concerns about the increasing traffic around the freeway interchange and off ramps from this project.   


4.    The property is at the confluence of three streams that flow from the hills into Lake Chabot.   The County had a decent plan for mitigating the flooding problem around the property, but they dismissed it in favor of routing one of those streams all the way around the property instead.   There have been no studies of whether their current plan to deepen and widen the channel will actually alleviate the flooding problem in the Newell Mobile Home Park to the south of the property.    


5.   In the comments to the original Environmental Impact Report, an engineer from the Vallejo Sanitation and Flood Control District wrote that Rindler Creek should be reconnected across the Fairgrounds site to Lake Chabot.    That would make the most sense ecologically and for flood control concerns.   


6.    The County didn't go back and commission another market analysis to determine whether this project would adversely affect surrounding businesses in other parts of Vallejo.    (The first market analysis on the original plan showed the Solano 360 project would adversely affect existing Vallejo businesses by drawing business away.)    The businesses that set up shop in this development will compete with surrounding businesses, and most of their sales tax will benefit the County rather than the City.    


7.   The current plan is a 1960's style project, one where humans flatten nature and bend it to our will, directing streams and lakes where we want them to go.  What we actually need is a 21st century project: one that works with nature and takes natural water features like streams into account.    That's how we will avoid bad flooding in the future.  


8.   The City still has options!    The City has the option to not approve these zoning changes and not approve the revenue split and not agree to help finance this project and not agree to issue the needed permits.    The City still has power to say "no" and ask the County to develop a plan that makes ecological and financial sense for the County, the City, and the residents of Vallejo.   


9.    This plan does not fit into a cohesive economic development strategy for Vallejo.   The City's general plan has not been updated since the 1980s, and the City is about to start updating it.    Why not wait a little bit longer, before committing, to make sure the development plan for this parcel fits into the larger strategy for the City?  


10.  From a land use perspective, the only kind of development on that 150 acres that makes financial sense for the City of Vallejo will be something that does not compete with existing businesses: any kind of development that brings in the vast majority of its revenue from sources outside Vallejo.   Things like amusement parks and youth sports complexes fit this bill because they bring in people from outside Vallejo.   It should not include restaurants or stores that compete with existing Vallejo establishments; the revenue split negotiation between County and City will mean the City will lose sales tax revenue on every Vallejo family that decides to eat in the new "restaurant row" at Solano 360 rather than at a restaurant downtown or even across the freeway at the Chevy's or Pasta Pomodoro.   


If you too have concerns with the County's current plan, please consider attending the Planning Commission meeting on Monday evening.   It will be very powerful if you attend and bring a friend, and even more powerful if you speak or submit a written comment about your concerns.   

 

 

Note: All opinions expressed in the "Primal Scream" column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin